Inaugural Campus Health Wellness Summit

Feb. 29, 2024
Wellness Summit: Relationships, Substance Use, and Coping Strategies

In an environment where faculty, students and staff are typically limited to their routine roles, it’s vital to come together to exchange our distinct perspectives while fostering a sense of our shared humanity. The Campus Health Wellness Summit on February 23rd, 2024 offered the University of Arizona community an empowering space to engage in meaningful discussion on health and wellness topics. While the spring semester is a busy time where we are burned out and feeling the pressure to finish the next task, it is actually the most important time to slow down. There's profound value in the campus community pausing, allowing a moment to reflect and prioritize collective health and well-being. 

Summit Overview 

The inaugural Wellness Summit featured a variety of topics aimed at fostering healthier relationships, providing insights on harm reduction associated with cannabis use, and reviewing coping strategies. The initial session, led by Campus Health's AOD & Harm Reduction Program Specialist, Spencer Gorin, RN, discussed navigating the balance between sensation and connection and prompted students and staff to have courageous conversations on cannabis use among University of Arizona students. Additionally, attendees engaged in coming up with their own courageous conversation topics based on what they felt students and staff should be discussing together. In a session led by Jermaine Barkley, a Health Educator at Northern Arizona University, participants delved into the social justice implications of cannabis use within BIPOC communities. The session aimed to debunk misinformation, offer insight into the true risks associated with cannabis use, and share strategies for minimizing harm. The summit concluded with Health Educators from Campus Health sharing actionable strategies for practicing self-compassion, utilizing the 4-7-8 breathing technique, and creating a personalized self-care plan.

Impact On Attendees 

This Wellness Summit gave staff and students alike, thought-provoking conversations, concrete health and wellness strategies, and a space to create meaningful connections. Participants found the Wellness Summit to be influential, with one stating it was “easy to stay engaged, and relevant especially for college students.” Another attendee described it as “a great opportunity to engage with the community.” Survey data continued to show that attendees planned on incorporating what they learned into their daily life and 100% would recommend the Wellness Summit to a friend.

This gathering exemplifies the power of taking the time to talk about health and wellness issues and learn new strategies to make informed choices. Events like these are critical to cultivating a caring campus community with health and wellness at the forefront, a central focus for Campus Health.